Department of Modern Languages

Language learning at St George’s focuses on developing communicative capacity while introducing students to cultural aspects behind each language.

Junior School

In St George’s Nursery and in the early years of Primary, language content is delivered by the class teacher along with regular sessions with a Languages specialist, as well as optional clubs in Chinese (Mandarin), French, German and Spanish. The initial emphasis is on cultivating an awareness of many different languages and cultures. As pupils progress into P5 French or Spanish becomes the main language taught. This alternates on an annual basis. In P5, all classes have three sessions per week in the main language delivered by a specialist teacher.

Lower School

Building on their language learning in Junior School, P6 and Remove (P7) girls continue with three per week of the language studied in P5. In Lower 4 (S1), students continue with two periods of the main target language, and a four part Carousel of Language Awareness and Global Citizenship, which allows them to learn more about the cultural and geographical contexts of the languages studied. This session there will also be a four part language carousel in Remove, after which girls will make their language choices for Lower 4. There is also an optional language club on offer in Chinese (Mandarin).

Upper School

Following on from their language studies in Lower School, the girls are well-informed to make a sensible decision about which two languages to study in Upper 4 (S2) from Chinese (Mandarin), French, German and Spanish (and Latin), before choosing to continue with at least one language other than English in fifth form. Some students elect to study three languages in Upper Four. All four modern languages are offered at Higher and Advanced Higher level, where results are consistently very good indeed. 

Native speakers of non-taught languages are encouraged to take an examination in their mother tongue.

Trips and Exchanges

The Faculty of Modern Languages provides many opportunities for the girls to travel abroad – there are annual trips to Normandy or Spain for Remove, an exchange to Germany for GCSE classes.  As well as the possibility of organising work experience for Sixth Formers, cinema and theatre trips and the Language Leader club are also offered. 

Teaching Staff

Adam Clarke

MA (Hons) German and Russian with European Studies 

Rachael Porteous

MA (Hons) French 

Nadine Barbier

Master of French as a Foreign Language 

Susan Bell

MA (Hons) French and Spanish

Joanna Casely

MA (Hons) Spanish and French with Portuguese 

Ailsa Gairdner

MA (Hons) French 

Carole Jeremy

MA (Hons) German and French

Rachel Tsai

BSc Language and Business, MSc Languages and Marketing 

The faculty is supported by language assistants in Chinese, French, German and Spanish.

All our teachers are registered with the GTCS (General Teaching Council for Scotland) and they all hold a post graduate teaching qualification (usually PGCE or PGDE) if their degree is not in education.